Following the 2008 announcement that Polaroid would stop making analogue film products, former Polaroid employees took on the seemingly impossible task of saving the last Polaroid production company left in the Netherlands in an attempt to save analogue instant photography. The result prevented three million Polaroid cameras from becoming obsolete, and photographers from around the world took part in The Impossible Project.
The latest exhibition is being held at the contemporary lifestyle store Aria which features the Polaroid work of Ruvan Wijesooriya and Kasia Bobula - who here talk to Dazed about their recent ‘impossible’ undertaking.
Dazed Digital: What does Polaroid mean to you?
Kasia Bobula: I feel very sentimental about Polaroid as it's one of the first mediums I ever used. I also love the idea of having instant prints. In a world that keeps getting more and more digital, it's amazing to have something that feels tangible and is more unique than any reproducible jpg file.
DD: What enticed you about The Impossible Project?
Ruvan Wijesooriya: The challenge of using a new film in an old format and finding new ways to use the format and the specific Impossible films.
Kasia Bobula: As a lot of my work revolves around an attempt to preserve the feel of the past, The Impossible Project's ethos is something that I can totally relate to.
DD: Have you worked with Polaroid in the past?
Ruvan Wijesooriya: Not the company, but I have shot many polaroids for many purposes, yes. I’ve used Polaroid backs of different kinds, old Land cameras, 600’s, Spectras and I’ve also had the privilege of using the largest Polaroid format, the 20x24”.
DD: Are you surprised that Polaroid is on the brink of becoming obsolete?
Kasia Bobula: Yes and no. Yes, because with the popularity of digital cameras and Instagram, film is kind of becoming a thing of the past. On the other hand, the quality of a Polaroid print and the experience that comes with it are so special, that I'm always surprised people are trying to replace it. After all, no digital file will ever replace the magic of the original, right?
DD: What do you think it says about the technological future that Polaroid is on the brink of becoming obsolete?
Ruvan Wijesooriya: You can fuck up shooting a Polaroid easier than you can fuck up using your camera phone.
The launch event of The Impossible Project is at Aria’s Barnsbury Hall on Thursday 17th May from 6pm, the exhibition will run from 18th May to 15th June and reconditioned stock of original Polaroid cameras, plus the new range of compatible films will be available to purchase.